Tuesday, September 26, 2006 ~ Buffalo County, South Dakota
I leave Oacoma, South Dakota (where by some bizarre synchronicity I also spent a night last September...in the same hotel) and drive the few miles into Chamberlin across the Missouri River.
It's a powerful river and powerful crossing over the rusting old bridge with its sacred geometry-like trusses.
There's something about crossing a river, particularly one with the force of a Columbia, Missouri or Mississippi, that always leaves me feeling as if I'm moving into the new.
When I first left Sedona, a friend gave me a tape with a half dozen little known inspirational songs sung by unnamed artists. The first track begins There's a bridge that you can cross / On the other side is freedom, and it always runs through my head at moments like this.
Across the river in Chamberlin, I follow the signs pointing the way (or so I think) to eastbound I-90. Yet as the road carries me north, away from town and the freeway, I can't figure out why I seem to be heading farther from the highway and closer to North Dakota.
Lulled by the Missouri River to the west and rolling hills to the east, I continue driving north.
Finally, I realize that this is an alternative route, for semis and other mega-vehicles. I'm about to turn back when I pass a sign that reads Welcome to Buffalo County.
Then I get it: More buffalo energy. As always, it's welcome.
Photo by Mark David Gerson
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Tuesday, September 26, 2006 ~ Oacoma, South Dakota
Most people who drive cross-country in the U.S. gas it through the Great Plains states as quickly as they can, complaining about the tedium of arrow-straight roads and pancake-flat topography.
While I prefer my prairie to be gently rolling, even the flatness has its attraction.
Here on the plains of South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa, where you truly can see forever on a clear day, expansiveness rules. I remember the same feeling 20 years ago when Canada's transcontinental train carried me across the Saskatchewan prairie.
The vast openness -- the endless land and endless sky -- speaks to me of boundless opportunities, limitless possibility. The emptiness suggests the primordial void from which all creation emerges. It's a meditative space, unfixed and open, and it reminds me of the importance of un-busy-ness, of allowance, of getting out of my own way to let life's magic unfold for me. It reminds me of the road to infinity.
Sunday, September 24, 2006 ~ Rapid City, South Dakota
I'm reminded in this moment of some of the reasons why the sound healing work I do is so powerful...for me.
Of course, it's gratifying when participants share their experiences of an event, as they did this afternoon here in Rapid City. And when I'm making a return visit to a place, as I've done today, it's also gratifying to hear about the life changes sparked or supported by my previous visit.
Though my human self welcomes the validation, it's my experience of the sound that keeps me coming back for more.
As meditation and other spiritual practices do for some of you, the sounds that vibrate through me take me to a different place, a higher place, a truer place.
Sometimes, like today, I have a profoundly physical experience, feeling the vibrations in particular parts of my body as it shifts, aligns, recalibrates.
Stephen, one of this afternoon's participants, spoke of feeling as though he was a car and was in the shop for a tune-up during the sound initiation. I'm very aware of experiencing that same kind of realignment and recalibration whenever I sing the sacred sounds and light codes that have chosen me as their transmitter.
Today's sound, though, is something apart.
Just as some people sense a connection to the dolphins of a particular region, I have a powerful connection to the buffalo herds of the Black Hills south of Rapid City.
I had my first experience of them last year. As I drove into the area's wildlife preserve that is their home, I declared, I want to see buffalo.
Then call them in, with sound, I heard in reply.
And so I did, singing sounds I had never before sung. Within moments, a giant herd was crossing the road (see photo).
Today, as I begin to sing, I'm aware once again that these sounds are different. Almost immediately, I realize that it's the song and energy of the buffalo that's moving through me. Not just any buffalo, but the buffalo of the Black Hills.
Something else about today's sound: It's totally unpredictable. While that's always true, that unpredictability is even more pronounced this afternoon.
Today, there's little melody. Instead, the style of the sound shifts frequently, dramatically and without warning from moment to moment, forcing me, even more than usual, to abandon any pretense of control.
Which brings me back to the power for me of these sound initiations and sessions. They move me into profound levels of surrender, insist that I live in the certainty of uncertainty and draw me away from the limitations and constrictions of my mind. And they accomplish these in ways that speaking and writing rarely do quite as fully.
Drawing comes comes close. But even there, my mind can more easily intrude as it tries to figure out that which transcends mind-meaning.
And so what did the buffalo sing this afternoon?
Many things, most of which lie beyond human understanding. One thing, though, they always remind me: that it's possible to be powerful and strong, to have a mighty presence, to carry the wisdom of the ages and to hold the medicine of the gods...to do all this and more while remaining firmly anchored on this earth at this time and in this moment.
Photo by Mark David Gerson: The Buffalo of Custer State Park, Black Hills, South Dakota
Wednesday, September 6, 2006 ~ Santa Fe, New Mexico
I'm sitting at the downtown Borders one dialog away from completing a preliminary draft of the screenplay adaptation of my novel The MoonQuest when my healer friend Patricia walks into the cafe.
Let me explain something about Patricia. When I was first given her name nearly two years ago, it was with the warning that she was nearly impossible to reach. I reached her on my first try.
I've never reached her by phone again, but I always run into her in unlikely places at pivotal moments in my life.
Today, as it turns out, is one of those.
Whatever the fate of The MoonQuest, each time I read it or work on it, I receive a powerful activation. So it's no coincidence that Patricia should turn up in this moment of completion.
We chat about my divorce and she remarks that I'm the freest she's ever seen me of the residue of my marriage and of my relationship with my ex-wife.
"It's time to open to a new relationship," she says.
"I don't know," I say. Certainly, when I walked into Borders a few hours ago, a relationship was the last thing on my mind or in my conscious desiring.
"You of all people," she insists, "can't let fear stop you."
We chat some more and I share with her a story I shared with many of you in an August 2004 newsletter (Who Do You Think You Are?) -- that for the first 20 years of my adult life, I lived as a gay man.
In the few years before I met my wife, I stopped identifying myself as gay -- or straight. Rather, I began to open to the ultimate truth of myself as a sexual being who could not and would not be categorized.
Today, nearly two years after the end of my marriage, I haven't changed my view.
We come into this life with many roles and missions. One of mine, I have long felt, is to be a bridge between the strict gender/orientation labels of the past and the unclassifiable energies of the future.
When I told my gay friends eight years ago that I was getting married, to a woman, I explained that I hadn't fallen in love with a body and set of genitals. I had fallen in love with a wonderful spirit who just happened to occupy a female physique. From that place of love and passion, gender and orientation were irrelevant and anything was possible.
The result was the most profound, intimate and powerful relationship of my life.
The next one, Patricia tells me, will be even more amazing.
When I leave Borders a short while later, I feel as though a pall has lifted from me. I feel lighter, freer.
If walked into Borders still closed to the idea of relationship, I walk out willing, open and ready...and with a strong sense of my next partner's gender.
But whether it's a man or woman doesn't matter...can't matter. If it's a man, it doesn't mean I'm gay any more than it being a woman says I'm straight.
What I am and must remain on this journey into oneness, is the fullest expression of all my potentials, sexual and otherwise. What I am and must continue to realize is freedom from all definitions, expectations and classifications -- mine and others' -- as I open to the love that I am and the love that is open, ready and available to me...and to all of us
Art by Mark David Gerson: Soul Mates (Red Canyon, Utah) -- Soaring independently from a shared base, this pair of hoodoos (pinnacled rock formations) represents what is, for me, the true nature of the soul mate relationship: common grounding that frees each partner to reach for the stars.
Monday, August 28, 2006 ~ Fort Collins, Colorado
Despite my powerful experiences at Mount Shasta in July, I never planned to create a Shasta drawing. It felt, well, cliched. After all, what collection of sacred/metaphysical images doesn't include one of Mount Shasta?
Yet as I look at my photographs of the mountain, I hear the words Lemuria Calling, and I know I have no choice. My unplanned drawing of Mount Shasta has named itself. And the name is rife with personal significance.
If you've known me more than a few years, you know that, with my friends Karen and Larry Weaver, my ex-wife and I owned a metaphysical store in Sedona by that name. Like a shooting star, Lemuria Calling had a short but powerfully bright life and was responsible for, among other gifts, getting to meet some of you.
The store is gone, but the energy of Lemuria continues to infuse all my work -- from some of the symbols I draw to some of the healing/sacred sounds I sing.
There are many tales about the fate of that fabled Pacific continent. The one that has always resonated most powerfully for me is that Lemuria ascended and still exists intact in higher dimensions, a model and template for us as we travel our own ascension journey.
Mount Shasta's longstanding link with Lemuria -- Telos, a Lemurian city is said to lie beneath it -- makes Shasta a powerful ascension portal, a gateway to the "heaven on earth" we are each called to create in our lives.
Mount Shasta's call, then, is also Lemuria's. It's a reminder that through our thoughts, choices and actions -- through hearts open to ourselves and each other -- we can live in the Kingdom of Heaven, the New Jerusalem, the Golden Age of Lemuria... now and in every moment.
Art by Mark David Gerson: Lemuria Calling (Mount Shasta)